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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Flesh and Blood of the Son of Man - Thanksgiving Sunday Evening Service/Holy Communion    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   John 6:53-55
Date
   2009-11-15



[Passage]

John 6:53-55
"So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We have Holy Communion in the second part of this evening service.
Holy Communion is the commemoration of the love of Jesus who gave all His flesh and blood to save us.
You participate in the Holy Communion at least three times a year. [Some other churches have it more often, once a month or even every day.
But in our church, we have the Holy Communion three times a year, on the great feasts, namely Easter, Feast of Harvest, and Thanksgiving Sunday.]
Each time, you hear about the meaning of the bread and wine and how you are supposed to participate, so I believe you know about it very well now.
But I urge you to recall the meaning once again and understand it in your heart.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will be able to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man all the time so you will be filled with life and Spirit.
[Main] Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, one day a prince went hunting in the countryside. There he fell in love with a beautiful lady.
After he came back to the palace, the prince began to think of the ways he could express his feelings and gain her heart.
He first thought he would go to her in the dignity of royal robes, riding a white horse and with many servants and then he would profess his love to her.
But he didn't want to do that, because he feared that the lady might just see the dignity of his appearance and marry him even though she might not love him.
Next, he thought he would show her the beautiful palace and propose to her.
But that didn't seem good either. She might marry him only looking at the wealth and honor.
The prince wanted the lady to feel his love and he wanted her to love him truly.
Lastly the prince decided to disguise himself as a shepherd boy and live in the neighborhood of the lady.
That way, he could have real fellowship and share their love. If he could be sure of her love for him, he wanted to bring her to the palace and live together.
This story is an allegory explaining the Incarnation of Jesus, made by Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher.
Jesus, the Son of God, forsook all heavenly glory and came down to this earth.
He was born as a man in the form of a creature and lived the same life as human beings.
It would not be easy for a prince to leave his palace and live as a shepherd.
He wouldn't have any delicious food or soft clothes. He wouldn't have a comfortable bed or servants to minister to him. He had never had experience doing laborious work.
But even this suffering of the prince becoming an ordinary man cannot be compared with the sufferings Jesus undertook.
Jesus is the Son of God the Creator, who is one with God Himself in origin and He dwelt in great glory.
This Jesus had the body and physical life of a creature and came down to this earth to suffer hunger, tiredness, cold and hot weather, and every pain of human life.
Furthermore, at the end of His life, He received all kinds of mockeries and sufferings and died on the cross.
It was all according to the plan of God to save the mankind that Jesus took all these sufferings completely.
Because Jesus shed His blood, those who believe in this fact are forgiven of their sins and receive salvation.
Sinners were supposed to receive the eternal punishment in Hell to pay for their sins.
But those who believe in the Lord are forgiven of their sins, receive salvation, can go into the heavenly kingdom.
Now, for what reason would God want to take you into the heavenly kingdom at the price of turning over the life of His one and only Son?
It's because He wants to share His true love with them.
God does not want children who keep the Law in fear of the judgment of God.
He does not want children who believe in God because God answers to their prayers and gives them blessings.
The kind of children that God wants are those who love God and believe in Him even in trials and sufferings, even if He does not "answer all their prayers and always blesses them".
God wants those children who live by His word because they love God with their heart, and not those who keep the Law because they are afraid.
God gave the life of His one and only, the most precious Son to share His love with true children and let them enjoy the glory of heavenly kingdom together.
Today, there are many believers, but there are not very many true children who can feel the heart of God deeply and share their love with Him.
Just saying with lips, "Lord, I love you" cannot make us true children.
Then, what do we have to do? We have the answer in today's reading passage. Namely, it is to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man.
John 6:54 says, "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
Holy Communion is a ceremony to eat the bread and drink the wine, which represent the flesh and blood of the Son of Man.
We commemorate that Jesus died on the cross for us, and gave all His flesh and blood.
Furthermore, the Holy Communion is a rite that enlightens us on how we are supposed to lead a life in faith to gain eternal life.
Of course, we cannot gain eternal life just by eating the bread and drinking the wine.
We have to understand the spiritual meaning contained in it and practice it to receive an eternal life.
Namely, we have to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man spiritually.
Then, how are we supposed to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man?
First, to eat the flesh of the Son of Man is to take the word of God as our spiritual bread.
John 1:1 says that the Word is God.
John 1:14 says that Jesus is God, namely, the Word that became flesh, and dwelt among us.
Therefore, to eat the flesh of the Son of Man is to take in the word of God.
To take in the word of God is not just to know it as knowledge.
It is to change our heart with that word. It is to fill our heart with goodness and love.
In order to take in the word of God this way, we have to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man together.
This means that while we are learning the word of God we must have our deeds that accompany the word.
It's like when we eat food, we have to drink liquid together with it.
If we just eat dry food without consuming any liquid, we cannot digest the food.
We can discard body waste and take in new nourishment only when water is supplied.
Likewise, when we learn the truth, we have to try to practice the word we learn.
Only then will the word of God you learned will actually become your life and strength.
This way, the untruth in you will be discarded as waste and the truth will replace it.
Hatred will go out and it will be filled by love. Arrogance will go away and humbleness will replace it.
We can understand we have life in us only when we not only eat the flesh but also drink the blood of the Son of Man.
1 John 1:7 says, "but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."
Here, to dwell in light means to practice and obey the word of God.
Jesus forgave our sins by shedding His precious blood.
But in order for us to be forgiven of sins by His blood, we have to walk in the light.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."
How deeply do you realize the love of the Lord who gave His life for you and all His flesh and blood?
How deeply do you feel the love of God who gave His one and only Son?
This message about eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of Man is not something that forces us to keep our duties.
It is explaining to us the fact that Jesus loved us even to the point of giving His flesh and blood in order to give us life.
It also tells us that, if we just keep His love in our heart and practice the truth, we will gain eternal life and we can enjoy abundant blessings.
If we thoroughly understand this love, and if we engrave that love in our heart, that love will certainly change our lives.
For example, when you pray in the Holy Spirit and praise the love of God with tears, you can clearly feel the difference between flesh and spirit.
You feel so vividly in your heart how precious the glory of heavenly kingdom is and how meaningless flesh is.
You feel like you want to cast off all evil right away.
You might feel you were very foolish to be jealous of other brothers in faith and why you had greed and got angry, even though God loved such a person as you.
Also, when you think of the grace of the Lord who walked the way of the cross, you feel ashamed that you complained about your trials.
Now you determine to be faithful with all your life. After you offer up such prayers and praises, your life begins to change with the truth.
In a situation where you would have had hard feelings before, you now remember the emotion of your tearful prayers and you change your mind.
Even when you are about to get angry, you feel the eyes of the Father God who loves you and you become patient.
When you are about to seek your own benefit, you remember the eyes of Jesus who is on the cross, and you choose to sacrifice yourself for others.
Of course, you cannot change yourself at once. But as you remember the love of God again and again and keep on trying, your heart will change into the truth itself.
This is to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man.
Once you imprint the love of God and the grace of the Lord in your heart, you will naturally eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man.
The more you do that, the more you will feel the love of God and the more inspiration you will have in prayers and praising.

Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Romans 8:32 says, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"
God who gave us the life of His only begotten Son gave us many blessings during this year, too.
He gave us salvation, allowed for our souls to prosper, and blessed us with health and wealth and made all things go well with us.
Remembering all these blessings once again, I urge you to keep the love of God more deeply in your heart through this Holy Communion.
I urge you to diligently eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man to accomplish complete holiness.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that, you will be able to share the joy of true love, like God the Father's earnest hope and expectations.

[Amen]

 
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